Sensôji monastery, (in) Tokyo, Tôkyô Prefecture, JP

Raw data

According to the temple legend (Sensôji engi), Sensôji’s history began in 628 during the reign of Empress Suiko when a carving of the Kannon bodhisattva (Avalokiteśvara) was found floating in the river by a pair of fishermen. It was subsequently enshrined in a private home until priest Shôkai built a hall for it in 645. The Tendai monk Ennin (794–864) expanded the site in the Heian period, and supposedly carved the main object of worship, the Asakusa Kannon, (while the original was kept hidden). In 942, military leader Taira no Kinmasa contributed a gate (the Furajinmon) and completed the seven-structured temple compound.

Sensôji probably remained a small operation until it began to benefit from Minamoto patronage during the Kamakura Shogunate (1185–1333). According to the Azuma kagami (13th century), carpenters from Sensôji helped build the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura in 1181, and Sensôji monks participated in a memorial service of 1192 for Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa.

In the Edo period, Sensôji received 500 koku of estates from the shogun Ieyasu (1543–1616) who designated the institution as a tutelary temple of Tokugawa clan. The architecture suffered through several fires and was finally destroyed by allied bombing in World War II.

Located in the heart of Tokyo, the postwar reconstruction is now a major tourist site attracting 30 million visitors a year. It is famous for the Asakusa Shrine, the Kamarimon gate with its giant lantern, and for the Nakamise-dôri Street of souvenir vendors.

- Uryû (2003: 220)
- “Sensôji”浅草寺
- “About Senso-ji”

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Dec 14, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 15 Jul 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sensoji monastery, JP.

General location of the Sensoji monastery, JP.
Lat 35.71462 Long 139.79684
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=35.71462,139.79684&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sensôji 浅草寺. Alternative English spelling: Sensō-ji, Senso-ji, Sensoji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Tokyo Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.71462 Long 139.79684 - based on the visual identification of the site in - tmciolek, 15 Dec 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

  • Tôkyô, Taitô-ku, Asakusa

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • Tokyo was known as Edo before 1868. The region was known as Musashi Province.

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • 628 - Uryû (2003: 220)

MBM chrono-tag 0600-32c - tmciolek 15 Jul 2014 
0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 15 Jul 2014 

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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